"In toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you." 2 Thess 3:8
Like most parents of independent and self destructive children, St Monica tried tough love on her son St Augustine. Unable to control his life, but unwilling to sit idly by, Monica refused to let Augustine eat or sleep in her house after he embraced Manicheism, and it took a dream to change her mind.
Convinced that Augustine would someday return to the practice of his Catholic faith, Monica softened her harsh treatment of him, but began to follow Augustine from place to place. Annoyed by his mother's meddling in his life, Augustine left for Rome after telling her he was going to the docks to say goodbye to a friend, but Monica would not be stopped. She followed Augustine to Rome and Milan, praying all the while for his conversion.
St Monica is a powerful example of an ordinary saint. Famous, not for her learning, insight or piety, Monica is a saint because she was persistent. Determined, despite the cost to her personal comfort and security, to do what she believed God wanted of her, Monica follows Augustine to demonstrate to him that she had changed. Still certain that God wanted Augustine to return to his faith, she listened to her own spiritual advisors when they told her that her prayer for Augustine was the best weapon she possessed in her love for her son and for God. If she "backed off" they suggested, Augustine could move forward.
Today, pray for someone whose behavior annoys or upsets you.
How do you respond to someone whose life and lifestyle seem self destructive?